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Easter in §akm 

By Wm. A. Blair 




THE FIRST 
EARLY EASTE% MORNINg SERVICE 

ON THE 

HERRNHUT GOD'S ACRE 

April 13, 1732 

"In the young men's meeting on April 12th 
we were of one mind that on Easter Day 
we would go to our Resting Place upon the 
Hutberg before the rising of the sun; which 
was done before four o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the 13th. Later, when we had spent 
an hour and a half in singing on the Hut- 
berg, and had returned, a song and prayer 
service was held in the, Saal." (Croeger, 
Volume I, page 224.) 



lEaate r tn Salem 



"Tomb, thou shalt not hold him longer; 
Death is strong, but life is stronger; 
Stronger than the dark, — the light; 
Stronger than the wrong, — the right; 
Faith and Hope triumphant say 
Christ will rise on Easter day." 

—Phillips Brooks 

Silent is the great visitor-thronged 
city. 

"Night's black mantle covers all alike 
'Tis the witching hour of night; 
Orbed is the moon and bright, 
And the stars, — they glisten, glisten, 
Seeming with bright eyes to listen, — 
For what listen they?" 

Perhaps for the sweet song the 
angels sang; or, for the glad cho- 
rales that usher Easter in. Some two 
short hours since 

"The lonely moon 
From the slow-opening curtains of the 

clouds 
Walked in beauty to her midnight 

throne/ ' 

cr 
oo 
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the well-trained groups, with an- 
cient horns, stand here and there 
throughout the city's bounds. Sud- 
denly at the appointed hour, as if 
with one accord, the sacred hymns 
peal forth almost beneath the wait- 
ing windows of each home, gently 
yet solemnly calling all from 
sleep. 

"Hark! the numbers soft and clear 
Gently steal upon the ear" — 

from near at hand, from neighbor- 
ing square, 

"Now heard far off, so far as but to seem 
Like the faint exquisite music of a 
dream." 

* In every home, despite the hour, 
all now arise, then quietly to the 
tranquil square proceed, o'er which 
the tall church steeple casts a bene- 
diction, constant, tender, sweet. 

"Night's black mantle still covers all 
alike," 

but every eye is fastened on that old 
church door. Slowly, quietly, gen- 
tly, now at last it opens wide. The 



host of ushers, thronging choir 
and all the pastors of that faith, 
from all the province round, appear 
and disappear into the gathered 
throng. A moment later, then, a 
form erect, in priestly garb, a strik- 
ing face, a "good gray head which 
all men know," as if by magic cen- 
tres in the scene. Upon the portal 
all alone he stands, framed as it 
were in a great picture there. It is 
the Bishop, well beloved, 

"Whose preaching, but far more his 

practice wrought 
A living sermon of the truths he taught. " 

His voice, so clear, so marvelous, 
so sweet, sounds forth in tones of 
triumph and of joy that all may 
hear, the greeting apostolic, 

"The Lord is risen !" 

Oh, there's something in that 
voice and in that call that touches 
every heart and brings in thunder 
tones the hearty glad response, 

"The Lord is risen indeed!" 



Soon the great procession forms, 
and at its head u his office sacred, 
his credentials clear," the Bishop 
leads it on. In his footsteps "fol- 
low fast" one of the bands, and 
others, finding ^p laces h ere and 
there, play, antiphonally as they 
march. Through hallowed avenue 
and fair, the vast throng slowly 
makes its way, until a welcoming 
gate is found o'er which a sweet 
inscription ever says, 

"I am the Resurrection and the. Life." 

Beneath the arch the Bishop now 
has passed and in the centre of u the 
field and acre of our God," he takes 
his stand. 

From every blossom-covered 
grave there springs a fragrant, rich 
perfume, 

"And the fresh air of incense-breathing 
morn 
Doth wooingly embrace it." 

Night's candles have almost 
burned out, the day begins to break 
neath the "opening eyelids of the 



morn," and, in the east, a mellow 
light a promise brings, that soon 
the radiant sun, "God's crest upon 
his azure shield," will flame again 
upon the forehead of the morning 
sky. On what a scene, that none 
can e'er forget, will its first rays de- 
scend ! More than thirty thousand, 
in His image made, from many a 
city, town, and state, are standing, 
waiting there, in silence grave and 
in deep reverence wrapt. None fail 
to hear the Bishop's words. None 
can forget that service there. All 
feel the thrill of this great call be- 
fore the benediction comes,— 

"Glory be to Him who is the Resur- 
rection and the Life! He was dead 
and behold He is alive evermore; 
And he that believeth in Him, 
though he were dead, yet shall he 
live. Glory be to Him in the church 
which waiteth for Him, and in that 
which is around Him from ever- 
lasting to everlasting. Amen." 

But why stand you silent there? 
The multitude has gone, the ser- 
vice o'er. 



UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00034024617 



FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



Form No. A-368, Rev. 8/95 



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